THIRTEEN could be a lucky number for Kilkenny after all.
Leinster manager Joe Dooley has named 13 of the county’s senior hurlers in his squad ahead of their clash with Munster in the Martin Donnelly Inter-provincial semi-finals this weekend.
Jackie Tyrrell has been named as Leinster captain for the game, which will be held in Nowlan Park on Sunday (throw-in 2pm). Also in the panel are last year’s All-Ireland winning captain Brian Hogan, the 2011 Hurler of the Year Michael Fennelly and Eoin Larkin, who captained Kilkenny to Walsh Cup glory over Galway last weekend.
Leinster are the current champions. They beat Ulster and Connacht to the lift the title in 2009, the last time the competition was played. It was their 27th title, but Munster are still on top of the roll of honour, having won it 44 times. The Munster side is managed by Liam Sheedy (Tipp), with Stephen Frampton (Waterford) and Jamesie O’Connor (Clare) as selectors. Eamon O’Shea, former Tipp coach, is also involved. The panel will be named during the week.
Interestingly, Tyrrell will be hoping to keep a winning streak going in this year’s competition. Leinster’s last seven victories in the competition have all come under Kilkenny captains - John Power (1993), Willie O’Connor (1998), Andy Comerford (2002), Michael Kavanagh (2003), Eddie Brennan (2006), Tommy Walsh (2008) and J.J. Delaney (2009). Three of the last seven inter-provincial hurling finals were played outside Ireland. Venues were Rome (2003), Boston (2005) and Abu Dhabi (2009), the last time it was played.
Leinster squad - Gary Maguire, Niall Corcoran, Shane Durkin, Ryan O’Dwyer (Dublin), Paul Ryan (Dublin), Liam Rushe (all Dublin); David Herity, Paul Murphy, Noel Hickey, Jackie Tyrrell (captain), Tommy Walsh, Brian Hogan, J.J. Delaney, Michael Fennelly, Michael Rice, Richie Power, Eoin Larkin, Colin Fennelly, Richie Hogan (Kilkenny); Willie Hyland (Laois); Rory Hanniffy, Shane Dooley, Joe Bergin (Offaly); Brendan Murtagh (Westmeath); Darren Stamp, Rory Jacob (Wexford).
Admission prices for Sunday’s game in Nowlan Park are E10 for adults, E5 for senior citizens and students. Under-16s are free.